jetted tub jacuzzi access panel?

RiversideKidMarch 16, 2012

Just how "accessible" is an access panel supposed to be? Our tile installer has just tiled our access panel telling us that "it's customary" to leave two 12x24 tiles grouted, but not held in any other way. To access the motor, plumbing and GFCI we need to break the grout and the tile falls out and we would need to re-grout to put them back.

I hired a company to re-tile my bathroom and change the ugly access panel on the jetted tub to something pretty, which they do regularly and said it would be easy! (Without specifics in writing, I hired his company)

My question: where this may meet the installer's definition of my request, is this "customary?" Is this really considered "within most code?" (Georgia if you know the code here, I don't)

Thank you in advance!

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mongoct

The actual fabrication of the access panel is up for interpretation.

I always try to make an access panel that's tool-less. Take it out, put it back, no tools, no repairs. It could be a type of tile overlay, or if the apron has non-tile details, a removable raised wood panel, or a removable built-in towel shelf insert for example.

For flush tiled aprons, some tilers will tile and grout the apron, but use sanded caulk that matches the grout around the access panel tiles instead of portland-based grout. Use a utility knife to score and cut it out should the need arise.

Some use magnetic catches to hold the tile in place.

Most do nothing. They leave no access panel.

As to "code", code first defers to the manufacturer's installation instructions. So the tub needs to be installed IAW the manufacturer's published instructions, and that makes it code compliant. If there are no instructions, then code does define pump access to whirlpool tub installations as follows:

SECTION P2720 WHIRLPOOL BATHTUBS

P2720.1 Access to pump.
Access shall be provided to circulation pumps in accordance with the fixture or pump manufacturer's installation instructions. Where the manufacturer's instructions do not specify the location and minimum size of field-fabricated access openings, an opening of not less than 12-inches by 12-inches (305 mm by 305 mm) shall be installed for access to the circulation pump. Where pumps are located more than 2 feet (610 mm) from the access opening, an opening of not less than 18 inches by 18 inches (457 mm by 457 mm) shall be installed. A door or panel shall be permitted to close the opening. In all cases, the access opening shall be unobstructed and be of the size necessary to permit the removal and replacement of the circulation pump.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2012 at 4:31PM
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